News

Call for plebiscite on dolphin-killing shark nets

CAUGHT: This blacktip shark was caught in a shark net off Noosa.
CAUGHT: This blacktip shark was caught in a shark net off Noosa. Contributed

THE Greens have called on the Baird government to hold a plebiscite to see if New South Wales residents support installing mesh shark nets that also kill dolphins, whales and dugong.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said fear of attacks had bred the idea "a person advocating for safer ocean use is anti-environmental and a person advocating for the protection of our marine life is anti-human".

Ms Smith blamed politicians and media for drumming up "this ludicrous binary argument" when in fact it was not an either-or proposition.

"In my lifetime of surfing and swimming on the North Coast, up until a few years ago I had only ever heard of a couple of shark encounters on our beaches," she added.

"Guys 10 years my senior talked about the surfer at Tallows who lost his leg in the 1980s, but it was not something anyone I knew talked about or thought about.

"The situation now is unprecedented and shocking."

Large rallies are already being organised against NSW Premier Mike Baird's statement that community sentiment had shifted in favour of mesh shark nets.

"In Queensland, which the Opposition is glowingly putting forward as a model to emulate, people are screaming for the mesh nets to be removed and drum lines to be used because six juvenile humpback whales have been caught in the nets on the Gold Coast this year," Ms Smith said.

"Good one, Premier Palaszczuk! But hang on - Premier Palaszczuk also supports the world's largest coal mine that is right on the Barrier Reef.

"My community has always been divided on shark mesh nets, but I believe we have always been able to have a civil conversation about it.

"That is what we are calling on the government to do - conduct a plebiscite to find out what people would really like to see happen."

Shark Files Queensland figures reveal Queensland's mesh nets were responsible for killing 76 dolphin and 28 manta rays between 2009 and 2014, with 406 non-targeted species dying in total.

ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  ballina marine life mike baird nsw politics plebiscite shark attack shark nets tamara smith


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Joey survives after koala stomped on by cow

Dr Pyne said Fraser was "a battler".

"Mum was literally stomped to death"

15 huge rusty anchors still missing off Lennox beach

Rusty anchors and chains from the failed eco barrier at Lennox Head.

Sharks aren't the only hazard for swimmers

Our hidden treasures

TREASURES: Ballina MP Tamara Smith two local treasures with Patricia Templemen and Dawn Sword.

Regional treasures uncovered

Local Partners

First catch for shark nets

A 3.2m great white the first shark caught in nets on Saturday, followed by a beach evacuation on Sunday.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Local acts to hit the stage at Falls Byron

Angie Jeann and Merryn Boller watch Falls Director Brandon Saul and GM of Top Shop Aaron Montano strum a few tunes.

Artists from across the Northern rivers set to go on stage

Local band returns to deliver the music goods

BAND: Louie Swain, Anatole Serret, Noah Hill, Jules Crommelin and Patrick Hetherington.

Playing a homecoming free gig on Thursday in the area

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!